The last time I saw the Charles Gounod opera Roméo et Juliette I didn’t really like the opera. Shakespeare operatic adaptations rarely work. But the Florentine Opera production of last weekend gave me a new appreciation for it.
A good cast helped a great deal. Emily Pogorelz, who great up metro Milwaukee, was a fresh and young Juliet. Her singing settled in and made some gorgeous sounds. The potion scene brought out her talents as a sing actor. Tenor Duke Kim’s Romeo was very well sung, with high notes that were at times breathtaking. Romeo doesn’t a great solo scene, but his acting was creditable
The rest of the cast, especially Zachary Nelson as Mercutio, were solid in their parts. I very music liked the conducting of Franceso Milioto, who shows sensitivity to phrasing with the singers. The chorus sounded at their best.
The rented set was less interesting than the cast, unfortunately.
I just wish more people had been there. It seems to be taking some time for audiences to come back to concerts and theater.